19-Year-Old Bactrian Camel Born at Colorado Zoo Euthanized
The Denver Zoo just lost one of its own.
On Tuesday, June 14, Denver Zoo officials shared heartbreaking news via Facebook regarding the passing of one of the zoo's Bactrian camels.
As per the post, Padme - the zoo's 19-year-old geriatric Bactrian camel was euthanized after her care team ultimately witnessed a significant decline in her quality of life that reportedly stemmed from issues of advanced age and chronic arthritis.
"Denver Zoo animal care and veterinarian staff agreed that all options to keep Padme comfortable and happy for the long-term had been exhausted. The team made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her last week so her quality of life and welfare did not suffer. She passed peacefully, in the presence of her animal care team."
There were many things that made Padme special, but arguably one of the most special things about the Bactrian camel was her immediate connection to the zoo.
Padme was born at Denver Zoo in 2003; after realizing her mother was not interested in raising her baby, the newborn camel was hand-raised by keepers, who Padme wound up forming close, special relationships with.
According to her keepers, Padme received top-notch care and attention throughout her life, and, in turn, loved receiving "attention, affection, and scratches" from her care team.
"Padme was fond of greeting her keepers in the morning with adorable good morning grumbles and loving hair sniffs", the zoo's Facebook post reads.
"Despite her age, this sweet girl also learned many new behaviors in the last few years that helped keep her mentally and physically stimulated and that also allowed her to voluntarily participate in her own healthcare. Padme learned how to participate in her acupuncture treatments, which provided her comfort and relief in her old age."
On Tuesday (June 14), several people shared kind messages expressing outpouring love and support for the zoo, Padme, and her keepers following the camel's passing:
"Padme will be deeply missed by all those who knew, loved, and cared for her", Denver Zoo officials said.
A Denver Zoo spokesperson told 9News that Bactrian camels can live 40 years, but most live between 20 and 40 years, with the median lifespan being in the mid-20s.
"Padme was only a month and a half shy of turning 20, which relative to that median age, is advanced for her species," the spokesperson said.